The Tang Dynasty in China is one of the most successful eras in the Chinese history. It is well renowned for its unique architecture that brought about some of the most beautiful Buddhist buildings. Almost all of these were destroyed during the years that followed but four very lucky timber structured buildings somehow survived of which two itself stand on the Shanxi Province.
The Nanchan Temple is one of those Tang Dynasty wonders that stand proud as the oldest temple in China. Its date of origin is actually unknown but it was reconstructed during the 3rd year of Dezong Jianzhong (AD 782) of the Tang Dynasty which it-self goes back to over 1200 years. This exotic age old temple is located 21 km south of the Wutai County in Xinzhou. It can be found on the northern bank of Xiaoyinhe, Yangbaigou. The temple occupies a total area of 3078 square meters and each area has a deep sense of beauty and cultural significance. Most of the temple has been renovated over the years, but the wooden main hall still stands strong from over 1000 years and makes the oldest timber structured building nation-wide. Inside the temple you get a strong ambience of tranquillity emulated by the many Buddhist relics that adorn this structure. There are also a significant number of art and sculptures from the Tang Dynasty well preserved with a deep root of historical and artistic significance.
The Nanchan Temple is truly a masterpiece of great historical significance. Perhaps it is one place where you can enjoy an unspoilt structure from the Tang Dynasty and further enjoy the opportunity to relish and admire the spectacular craftsmanship portrayed by this structure. Venture a little further to the Foguang temple if you want to enjoy another well preserved monument from this era, it is not as old as the Nachuan Temple but is definitely worth a visit.
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